The 6 Best Over-the-Counter Products for UTI Symptom Relief

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The best over-the-counter UTI medications can manage your symptoms while you wait to see your doctor or help prevent recurring infections.
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We want to be extra clear: The only effective ‌treatment‌ for most urinary tract infections (UTIs) is doctor-prescribed antibiotics, and it's very important to get treated as soon as possible, because untreated UTIs can develop into much more severe health problems.

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So while you'll likely see many over-the-counter (OTC) products for UTIs in your local pharmacy, it's important to note the distinction between ‌treatment‌ and ‌symptom management‌: Some OTC supplements can provide relief from uncomfortable UTI symptoms, (which include burning pain during urination, a feeling of incomplete emptying, and frequent urination) while the antibiotics get to work, but OTC products should not be used on their own to treat a UTI.

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The Best OTC Products for UTIs

How We Chose

We chatted with an ob-gyn and a urologist, who broke down the basics of what a UTI is, what causes it and who it most commonly affects. We asked for their recommendations for over-the-counter treatments to help manage symptoms and get relief. Our top picks are based on their criteria, including:

  • Effectiveness
  • Availability
  • Cost

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For more information on how we choose and cover products, click here.

UTI Treatment

"In most cases, UTIs are the result of bacterial infection," says Jorge Rivera Mirabal, MD, a urologist with Orlando Urology Associates in Orlando, Florida. That's why the most common treatment for UTIs is a course of antibiotics as prescribed by your health care provider.

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UTI symptoms typically clear up within a few days of starting treatment, per the Mayo Clinic, but it's important to complete the entire course of antibiotics prescribed to you, even once you're feeling better.

If you have recurring UTIs, your doctor may prescribe you a longer-term course of low-dose antibiotics, a single-dose antibiotic to take after sex (if your UTIs are related to sexual activity) or suggest vaginal estrogen therapy if you've reached menopause, per the Mayo Clinic.

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Over-the-Counter UTI Medication to Consider

While over-the-counter products can't ‌treat‌ a UTI, they can help manage some of the more uncomfortable symptoms until you're able to see your doctor and/or until you start to feel the effects of antibiotics, says Allison Rodgers, MD, an ob-gyn and reproductive endocrinologist with the Fertility Centers of Illinois.

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These products include pain medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and urinary analgesics (drugs that decrease bladder pain), Dr. Mirabal says.

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If you're looking for relief, here are some great over-the-counter options that help with UTI symptoms.

1. AZO Urinary Pain Relief Maximum Strength Tablets

Best for Targeted Pain Relief

AZO Maximum Strength Urinary Pain Relief

These tablets from AZO provide targeted pain relief when you're dealing with UTI symptoms.

Pros

  • Relieves pain
  • Works quickly
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Doesn’t actually treat UTIs

AZO is one of the most popular over-the-counter brands for urinary tract infections, and really for anything urinary-related. These tablets are formulated with phenazopyridine hydrochloride as the number one ingredient.

“It helps numb the bladder and decreases the pain associated with a bladder infection,” Dr. Mirabal says. “It is generally safe except in patients with kidney disease or those that are allergic, but use is usually limited to two days.”

Use it to ease UTI symptoms while you wait for the antibiotics to kick in.

2. Aleve Caplets

Best General Pain Reliever

Aleve

Aleve provides 12 hours of pain relief, which can help temporarily relieve the pain and burning that come with a UTI.

Pros

  • Relieves pain
  • Long-lasting
  • Can be used to treat other types of pain

Cons

  • Doesn’t treat UTIs
  • Pain relief isn't targeted to the urinary tract

According to Dr. Rodgers, over-the-counter pain relievers — and specifically NSAIDs such as naproxen (Aleve) or ibuprofen — can help with pain associated with UTIs.

Aleve is a great choice, especially for UTIs, because it provides 12 hours of relief, so you only need to take two pills in an entire day to feel a reduction in your symptoms.

It doesn’t treat the UTI in any way, though, so you'll still need to see your doctor for antibiotics.

3. AZO Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Test Strips

Best Test Strip

AZO Urinary Tract Infection Test Strips

These at-home test strips can help confirm you're dealing with a UTI, so you can make the appropriate appointment with your doctor for treatment.

Pros

  • Works fast
  • Easy to find in stores

Cons

  • Doesn’t treat UTIs
  • Doesn’t provide relief

The chemicals used in these test strips are the same ones your doctor uses to test whether or not you might have a UTI, so if you’re unsure, you can purchase this over-the-counter product to find out if your symptoms are related to this condition.

You hold one test strip in your stream of urine for one to two seconds, and within two minutes, you have your results.

This way, you can call your doctor with more information than your symptoms alone, which may help you get a speedier diagnosis and treatment.

4. Uristat Ultra UTI Pain Relief Tablets

Best Cranberry Extract

Uristat Ultra With Cranberry

This product provides targeted pain relief along with cranberry extract, which some research has linked to better urinary tract health.

Pros

  • Provides pain relief
  • Works fast
  • Easy to find in stores

Cons

  • Doesn’t treat UTIs
  • Doesn’t provide long-term relief

Concentrated cranberry juice or cranberry tablets have been shown to reduce the chances of having a bladder infection, according to a January 2021 systematic review in Antibiotics.

These are in general safe to take, Dr. Mirabal says. He also points out that the tablets tend to be more concentrated than drinking cranberry juice, and they typically don't come with added sugar.

This brand can help provide relief from the burning, discomfort and frequent urination associated with UTIs, but it does not treat the infection in any way.

5. HUM Private Party

Best Probiotic

HUM Private Party

This probiotic doesn't treat symptoms, but it may be helpful in preventing UTIs over time.

Pros

  • May help prevent UTIs
  • Helps balance the gut
  • Easy to take

Cons

  • Doesn’t provide pain relief
  • Doesn’t treat UTIs

Probiotic supplements are all the rage for gut health, but they may have other benefits, too. Research, including one September 2018 study in the Turkish Journal of Urology, found that certain strains of probiotics (particularly L. rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri) may help prevent UTIs.

This over-the-counter supplement has a potent blend of both cranberry extract and probiotics to hone in on proper urinary health for the long-term.

Talk to your doctor about taking it if you're prone to recurring UTIs.

6. Micro Ingredients D-Mannose Powder

Best Powder

Micro Ingredients D-Mannose Powder

Budding research suggests this supplement can reduce the symptoms of UTIs and help prevent these infections.

Pros

  • Dissolves easily
  • No GMOs, additives or preservatives

Cons

  • Doesn’t treat UTIs
  • Doesn’t provide long-term relief

D-mannose is a type of sugar that naturally exists in your body akin to glucose. It’s also found in a variety of fruits, including apples, oranges, cranberries and blueberries.

D-mannose has shown promise as a supplement to help reduce the symptoms of urinary tract infections, according to a July 2016 pilot study in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences.

"It is believed that D-mannose might work to treat or prevent a UTI by stopping bacteria or E. coli from adhering and ascending up the urethra," says Iris Orbuch, MD, an ob-gyn based out of New York and Los Angeles, and author of Beating Endo.

"This product comes in a powder form, so it’s easy to mix into drinks and help flush out bacteria from the body that could be causing UTIs."

What to Look for in an Over-the-Counter Supplement for UTIs

1. Ingredients

Certain ingredients have been shown to help alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with UTIs, including cranberry extract and phenazopyridine. It's a smart idea to look for over-the-counter products that have these ingredients to ensure that they are actually helping relieve your symptoms.

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Keep in mind that there are no over-the-counter medications proven to treat or cure UTIs — steer clear of any products that claim to do so.

2. Affordability

You will need a trip to your doctor's office and a prescription for an antibiotic in order to treat your UTI. Any over-the-counter supplements you purchase will simply help to temporarily treat UTI symptoms, so they shouldn't be overly pricey.

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references

Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.

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